OPPOSITIONS from the management representatives of the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) in Western Visayas may be raised during the Board’s regular meeting in Iloilo City Thursday, August 15.
Wennie Sancho, labor representative to the RTWPB-Western Visayas, said the two management representatives would normally have oppositions against the proposed daily minimum wage increase for private sector workers in the region.
Sancho said today’s meeting would tackle possible oppositions prior to the scheduled public hearings.
“If there’s any opposition, we’re ready to counter,” he said, adding that the oppositions will be consolidated and will be taken up during the public hearings.
RTWPB in Western Visayas has already scheduled the hearings and deliberations on the proposed wage increase.
The series of public hearings will be on August 23 in Iloilo City, September 6 in Bacolod City, and September 20 in Boracay Island.
The Wage Board, on the other hand, is set to deliberate on October 1, 4, 10, and 11 this year.
“Possible oppositions from the management cannot postpone the scheduled hearings and deliberations,” the labor representative said.
It can be recalled that a wage hike petition was filed by the New and Independent Workers Organization (Niwo) on July 1.
Niwo is a rank and file labor union of Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines Inc. - Bacolod.
The group sought for a P50 increase for workers in the plantation and non-plantation and P60 for commercial and industrial sector workers in the region.
It also has a special provision seeking a daily minimum wage increase of P80 for workers at Boracay Island in Aklan.
The filing of the petition came 15 days before the expiration of the existing Wage Order No. 24 on July 16 this year.
Under which, minimum wage earners in Western Visayas are receiving an additional pay of P13.50 to P41.50 per day
Minimum wage rates in the region which included the cost of living allowance (Cola) are P295 and P365 per day.
Workers in the non-agriculture, industrial and commercial establishments employing more than 10 employees are receiving a minimum wage of P365 per day.
From the previous P323.50, the RTWPB-Western Visayas came up with an increase of P26.50 on basic wage plus a Cola of P15. All in all, the increase in this classification was P41.50.
Those employing 10 workers and below, the existing wage rate is P295 from only P271.50. It was derived from an increase of P18.50 plus a Cola of P5, or a total of P23.50.
For agriculture sector, plantation workers received P8.50 increase and Cola of P5, thus, the existing wage rate is P295. This is P13.50 higher than the previous rate of P281.50.
Those in non-plantations, the existing wage rate is also P295 from the previous P271.50 due to a basic wage increase of P18.50 and P5 worth of Cola, or a total of P23.50.
“The labor representatives are ready to rebut any opposition, if there’s any, during the hearings,” Sancho said, reiterating that the upward movement in consumer price index (CPI) and inflation are indications that there is a need for a wage increase.
The labor sector expects to have a new Wage Order on or before October 20 this year.
The Wage Board should issue a new order 30 days upon the conclusion of the last hearing.